alexa Dissemination of cognitive-behavioral treatments for anxiety disorders: Overcoming barriers and improving patient access.


Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

Author(s): Gunter RW, Whittal ML

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Abstract Cognitive-behavioral therapies for anxiety disorders are highly efficacious (e.g., Butler, Chapman, Forman, & Beck, 2006; Deacon & Abramowitz, 2004). These treatments nevertheless remain underutilized and difficult to access for many of the patients who suffer from these conditions (e.g., Norton & Hope, 2005). We identify various barriers to the wide-scale dissemination of these treatments, including those that are applicable to empirically supported treatments more generally (e.g., lack of training opportunities, failure to address practitioner concerns) as well as those that may be relatively specific to CBT for anxiety disorders (e.g., practitioner concerns around using exposure interventions). We offer suggestions for overcoming these barriers, including specific guidance about continued accumulation of a supportive research base, making the appeals that are necessary to obtain required funding and organizational support, and the training of practitioners to deliver these treatments. Advocates of CBT for anxiety disorders will need to demonstrate that these treatments are cost effective, if wide-scale dissemination is to occur. In the United States, advocacy with third party payers will also be necessary. Although providing such steps may prove to be a difficult endeavour, the patients who stand to benefit from this work deserve nothing less. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This article was published in Clin Psychol Rev and referenced in Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

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